Frequently Asked Questions
For whom does John Steed work? John Steed presumably works for a mysterious branch of the British Secret Service referred to simply as "The Organisation" and later "The Ministry." Details of this organisation are sketchy at best; during the Cathy Gale episodes, we occasionally meet some of his colleagues and superiors (the latter bearing cryptic names such as One-Ten and One-Twelve), and even get to witness the odd staff meeting. During the Emma Peel episodes, The Organisation delightfully all but disappears into infrequent enigmatic verbal asides. Then, during Tara King's tenure, we increasingly get to see some often rather goofy goings-on within what by this time is consistently referred to as The Ministry. David Keel, Cathy Gale and Emma Peel do not work for John Steed's employer; they volunteer their services to Steed just for the thrill of it. However, Tara King (as well as Purdey and Gambit) are colleagues of Steed's, all reporting to the same bosses.
How many partners did Steed have? This depends on your definition of "partner." In the "official" partner category we have: Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry), Dr. Martin King (Jon Rollason), Catherine Gale (Honor Blackman), Venus Smith (Julie Stevens), Emma Peel (Diana Rigg), and Tara King (Linda Thorson). And we mustn't forget Lady Diana Forbes-Blakeney (Jennifer Croxton), his partner for one episode only. That makes seven so far. The New Avengers adds two more official partners: Purdey (Joanna Lumley) and Mike Gambit (Gareth Hunt). But then, it is tempting to include any of a number of ad hoc partners: Georgie Price-Jones (Liz Fraser), Olga (Anna Quayle), Jenny Firston (Penelope Horner), and Inge Tilson (Dora Reisser), to name just a few.
Who came up with the name "Emma Peel"? Marie Donaldson, the studio's press officer, is credited for creating the name. She thought that the character had to have "man-appeal," which was shortened to "M-appeal."
What cars did the characters drive? The best-known vehicles are Steed's Bentley (various vintages) and Emma's Lotus Elan. Tara drove a red Lotus Europa, among other things. READ MORE
What were the character's addresses? In the Cathy Gale era Steed lived at 5 Westminster Mews. During the monochrome Emma Peel season his address was 4 Queen Anne's Court, Tothill Street, Westminster. When the show went to color, he moved to 3 Stable Mews, where he remained through the end of the original series. Emma Peel lived in two places: during the monochrome episodes she had a penthouse flat (no street address given) in Hampstead; with the onset of the color episodes she moved to a studio flat (again no street address) near Primrose Hill. Cathy Gale lived at 14 Primrose Hill, and Tara King's address was 9 Primrose Crescent. READ MORE
Why was Elizabeth Shepherd let go? Director Peter Graham Scott, who'd worked with Elizabeth Shepherd before, remarked that "the scenes with Beth Shepherd hadn't got any fire in them," and that she appeared to have little idea of what the character was about, or even how to approach performing for a television series. Patrick Macnee said of her, "Beth Shepherd as Emma Peel was a square peg in a round hole" (The Avengers and Me). Furthermore, it was later revealed by Shepherd and Brian Clemens that she caused trouble on the set by extensively re-writing the script. To the best of my knowledge, the film of her in "The Town of No Return" and "The Murder Market" does not exist.
What else has Patrick Macnee appeared in? Macnee has been a very busy boy—see his bio for complete details.
What else has Diana Rigg appeared in? Dame Diana continues to enjoy a distinguished career—see her bio for complete details. By the way, yes, I knew that Diana Rigg appeared in the nude on stage. No, there are no nude pictures of Diana Rigg here (or anywhere else, for that matter). If you are asking these questions, you really need to get a life!
Why did Diana Rigg leave the series? She first contemplated leaving toward end of the monochrome season. Long, hard work hours, poor pay, exploitation and disrespectful treatment by the producers all figured in her desire to leave, which came to a head by the middle of the color season, and a substantial pay raise did not completely satisfy her. READ MORE
How do I write to Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, etc.? Sorry, I have no contact information for any of the cast or crew!
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